Appeal the dismissal of a University at Buffalo student (victim of sexual abuse/assault)

Appeal the dismissal of a University at Buffalo student (victim of sexual abuse/assault)

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Regina B started this petition to SUNY University at Buffalo and

My friend was dismissed from the University at Buffalo due to poor grades. Growing up she was sexually abused by the people she was staying with. She encountered her abuser a couple days before the start of fall 2018 semester and that sent her into a mental health spiral. She was unable to sleep, lacked energy and isolated herself from everyone. I thought she was just being weird so I left her alone and never asked what was wrong. This lack of sleep continued and she was unable to wake up for class, she would wake up when the day was over and she never wanted to do anything, she wouldn’t even sometimes or shower. When I asked her why she was skipping class and stuff she just blamed it on her stomach problems. She ended up failing the first semester. The spring semester came and she started going to class, was more active and stopped being “lazy”. This didn’t last long. After about 3 weeks she started isolating herself again, didn’t want to do anything. We would buy tickets for a party or make plans and she’d be down to go then wait till last minute and change her mind. There was one party we both wanted to go to so badly. She had gotten dressed done her makeup and everything. I called her to let her know I was ready and she ignored my calls. I went to her room to find her in her party clothes in bed. She told me she just wasn’t “in the mood”. I was so pissed of because she was my ride, I told her that she was bipolar and needed help. I stopped being friends with her because I was tired of her random mood swings. One day she’d be the life of the party so fun to be around and the next day she’d be so antisocial and depressing to be around. I had stopped talking  to her around the end of March. I got a call from her in the beginning of June and she was just crying. She told me everything that had happened and what she was going through. We sat on the phone for hours just crying. I have known her since middle school and had no idea what she was going through. I just knew she moved around a lot and didn’t get along with her parents. She told me she had started seeking help but she had gotten it too late. She ended up failing some of her classes and got incomplete’s in the others after telling her teachers what she was going through. She got a letter of dismissal and started the appeal process with both her doctors and therapist writing her letters of support. She found out today that her appeal was denied and was told that “that time away from UB will afford you the opportunity to resolve the personal and academic issues that contributed to your lack of success. ” This is the opposite of what she needs. Being in college has been the only stability she’s had in 7-8 years. Not having to worry about where she lives or when she’s going to eat. Before this year she was a 3.2 student who also worked to support herself. Once this summer ends she won’t have a place to stay. Had it not been for that encounter with her abuser she would not be in this situation. She has found resources to help her through the school and outside of school. Kicking her out would not help her. She would loose access to her on campus therapist and her home. We’re not asking for a full reinstatement. Just a “dismissal deferral” which would give her one semester to bring up her grades and get a certain gpa and any other requirements outlined by the Dean Of Undergraduate studies. Please just give her one more chance to show you why you accepted her into UB. Thank You.

P.S

To my fellow students. If you or anyone you know is going through anything the campus has a lot of resources. If you have a friend who is acting out of character or isn’t behaving how the typically do don’t just dismiss them. Ask them if they’re okay and if you’re still concerned you can go online to https://www.buffalo.edu/studentlife/help/emergency/students-in-distress.html

and refer a friend. We need to help end the stigma against mental health! Especially in the black community. I can’t help but to think if I had been a better friend and asked her what was wrong more instead of dismissing her, we could of gotten her help sooner. 

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